“Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.
But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.
People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.” – description from Goodreads.com
Overall Rating – ♥♥♥♥/♥♥♥♥♥
A light & fluffy summer read + romance and self discovery + the road of finding yourself + the importance of family = the perfect contemporary, aka Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch. This book was part of my June book haul, and ended up taking me only a day and a half to read. Finishing this novel resulted in leaving me with a sunny and satisfied mood, with how the storyline wrapped up and the happy ending all of the main characters seemed to get.
I adore books that take place in another country, especially when the author executes the city well. In that case I feel as though I am experiencing the country with the characters. As all of the book takes place in Florence, Italy and Rome, Italy, I felt like I was with Lina as she walked down the cobblestone streets and ate stracciatella gelato with Ren. I could feel the culture and feeling of Italy radiating off of the pages in every chapter.
The characters were described well, and painted very realistically. I enjoyed following Lina on her journey to explore Italy the way her mother did in her time there. I loved how Ren and Lina ended up being great friends for the majority of the book, instead of getting into a relationship right away. They were such a good team, with how they relied on each other for support. When one was needing the other, they would run miles just to be near each other.
Lina mom’s journal was my probably my favorite part of the book. It had Lina going out of her comfort zone with every challenge, and showed her the true beauty of Florence through her and her mother’s eyes. The battle the she had with reading it at first showed the readers how hard it was for Lina to deal with her mother’s death.
Overall, I really enjoyed, almost loved this radiant contemporary. A story all about a daughter trying to find out who she really is in a new country, with new family, friends, hidden secrets, adventures, and love. I would totally recommend for any readers of Stephanie Perkins and Jenny Han, or any one with a knack for cute, worldly young adult novels.
Image courtesy of http://www.darlingharbour.com